BattleGround


NOTE:
The Authors of this letter decided to take their letter to YAB PM one step further.
Today they are known as PahlawanJoin them walk the talk!


An Open Letter to the Prime Minister on National Day
REBUILDING MALAYSIA BY CREATING A NEW BEGINNING…
 

Dear YAB Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir

Thank you for leading us the past 17 years as our Prime Minister. Thank you for sharing your life and visions with us. We want you to know we appreciate you for all that you’ve done for us. Yes, these are challenging times for us. But we know “Tough Times Never Lasts But Tough People Do!”

Today we celebrate our 41st year of independence. It is an auspicious occasion as our nation enters the threshold age of forty-one. On this very day, we also confront the severest challenge to our prosperity since our nation's birth, putting us all to a real test of resilience.

So much has happened to us and to the world in the last one-year. We accept that it is not only useless but also counterproductive to look back. In a volatile global environment, we have to be realistic about the state of our conditions and our expectations.

Here’s our pledge to you and to our country Malaysia: Starting today, we chose to face the future with a commitment to regain control of our destiny. Our immediate focus is recovery, before growth.

We are prepared to face the world with a new pair of lenses and to begin rebuilding the nation on a clean slate, with new mindsets and new attitudes. This is a time the government and us, the people -- need to communicate new expectations and better understanding of each other.

Given the present political and socio economic conditions, all development efforts in Malaysia must reconcile the political imperative of achieving economic equality among us as well as maximizing economic efficiency in this integrated, yet competitive environment. There are neither race, creed nor religion for we are all ONE -- Malaysians first. There are neither contradiction nor conflict in these objectives - they are in fact in alignment.

We need to seek refined ways in our new efforts; included are efforts to conduct honest and open dialogues among the people on the present harsh realities. In all that we do, we must bear efficiency in mind.

YAB Dato Seri Dr Mahathir, we know it’s terribly lonely at the top. As fellow Malaysians, we thought we offer you a helping hand. We would like explore our ideas with you:

To get back on our feet, drastic measures may have to be tried. These measures can be likened to taking a public corporation private. We need time and privacy to retreat to do some repair and housekeeping. Get the nation prepared and keep the world informed of our intentions. Give them our assurance that these are temporary contingency measures necessary to restart our economic engine. Implementing measures to address confidence of local Malaysians should gain more priority over other objectives.

Address the following 3 imperatives:
1.  Macro economic stability
2.  Focus on strengthening the productive sectors
3. Stop all-unproductive activities that hinder efficiency and development of a healthy work culture.
AND accept the following realities

1. Macro economic stability

Filling the hole burnt in our banking system by non-performing loans. External debts included, the total outstanding loan of $590 billion, is 213% of our 1997 GDP. This is too burdensome and disproportionate for our economy even with a high saving ratio of 38%. With a worse case scenario contraction of 5% in 1998, our ability to repay the loans will be severely hampered.

    While new funds to recapitalize the banks are raised, we immediately plug all possible leakage from the system. While the experts work out the detail mechanisms, we explore the following general bold measures:
    • Impose capital control. All non-tradable currency transaction to be regulated; so as to discourage, defer or delay transactions, and to reduce further leaks from the system.
    • Seek external debt moratorium. Seek relief for our private businesses to strengthen.  Foreign bankers may demand a partial IMF package -- we may have to have flexibility on this front.
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